Israeli dance comes to New York City's Central Park

Hundreds of people in New York take part in a dance class, performance and film, highlighting Israeli movement.

August 23, 2018 16:14
1 minute read.
1,000 people in New York take part in a class, performance and film highlighting Israeli dance

1,000 people in New York take part in a class, performance and film highlighting Israeli dance. (photo credit: RAM BEN ISHAY)

Under the summer sky of New York City’s Central Park on Wednesday night, hundreds of people turned out for an evening of Israeli dance, according to the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan.

The event – part of the New York City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage series – began with a “Gaga” dance class taught by the Batsheva Dance Company’s Omri Drumlevich. Gaga is a movement developed in Israel by Batsheva’s director, Ohad Naharin, and is intended to be a improvisational practice and movement language which allows beginners to connect to dance.

The class was followed up by a performance from the Gallim contemporary dance company, which is based in Brooklyn and founded by Andrea Miller, a former Batsheva ensemble member.

Renee Schreiber, the director of performing arts and music at the Israeli Consulate in New York, said Central Park is the ideal venue to showcase Israeli culture.

“There is no better stage – consumers of culture come from all over the city to watch this evening,” Schreiber said in a statement. “Culture is a universal language that connects communities and shows the artistic side of Israel.”

After the performance, the audience watched Mr. Gaga, a film about Naharin and his life journey in dance. The 2015 documentary was filmed over a period of eight years and includes dance footage and insight into Naharin’s influence on the world of dance.

"Israeli cultural creations are among the best in the world and are a source of pride,” said New York Consul-General Dani Dayan. “I have no doubt that the Israeli artists are our best ambassadors and... Israeli cultural events, in particular this evening, strengthen Israel’s status as a cultural powerhouse.”

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